Kenya: Govt Extends Designation of Bandit-Prone Valleys as Disturbed Areas

Nairobi — Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has announced a 30-day extension of orders designating parts of six bandit-prone counties in the North Rift as disturbed and dangerous.

These orders were initially issued on March 12, 2023, to facilitate Operation Maliza Uhalifu, a joint security operation involving the National Police Service and Kenya Defence Forces personnel.

CS Kindiki made the announcement on Wednesday after visiting Laikipia County to assess the progress and challenges of the ongoing security operation aimed at eradicating banditry.

He emphasized the government’s unwavering commitment to restoring peace in the restive North.

“I cannot provide a specific timeline for the conclusion of the operation because it will end only when all bandits and armed criminals are effectively dealt with,” Kindiki said

Regarding the presence of bandits in Mukogodo forest, one of the marked areas as disturbed and dangerous, the Interior Cabinet Secretary warned that the government would spare no effort in flushing them out.

He emphasized that the forest belongs to the government and cannot be surrendered to bandits who are using it as a hideout.

The Interior Cabinet Secretary highlighted significant progress in the fight against bandits and armed criminals since the operation’s commencement.

He commended the security agencies for their relentless efforts in pacifying the bandit-infested areas.

Kindiki particularly praised Naibor ASTU Camp for successfully recovering all 75 stolen cows from Enasoit Ranch in a recent operation.

Joint operation

Acknowledging the seamless coordination between the National Police Service and Kenya Defence Forces, Kindiki expressed optimism in the operation’s success.

“The recovery of 75 heads of cattle this week is the kind of success stories we want to hear. We must defeat the bandits who have long held our people hostage and made their lives difficult,” he asserted.

Furthermore, the Interior Cabinet Secretary emphasized the pivotal role played by the National Police Reservists (NPR) in combating banditry.

To boost their morale and enhance service delivery, Kindiki said the government will provide NPR officers with NHIF medical cover, uniforms and equipment.

During his tour of Laikipia county, CS Kindiki also visited Stephen Murijo, a National Police Reservist who was hospitalized after being critically injured by bandits during the livestock recovery operation in Naibor.

He assured that the government will cover the medical expenses of the injured NPR officer.

Kindiki commended all NPR officers across the country for their crucial role in complementing the efforts of other security agencies.